My family lived in Louisville, Kentucky for six years during my children’s young lives. The oldest was 14 when we moved and the youngest was 3. Snow was a rarity, but when it did snow – it came with a vengeance. Over the six years,we had 4 or 5 snows that called for Snow Days – which meant no school! We learned that hot chocolate and a pile of old movies was our favorite past time. Of course, there were all the regular chores to catch up on the next day, but a supper of soup and a lot of blankets while the snow fell heavily around the house was magical.
But, there are two snowstorms that are more memorable than others.
The first was the year my younger daughter went on a Chrysalis retreat. Her older sister had gone a couple of years before and Katie, my younger daughter, had been eagerly waiting for the time she could go. Aerin’s experience was one of revelation and call. I prayed Katie’s experience would be uniquely her own. The Saturday evening of the Chrysalis we went to candle lighting and it had begun to snow when we left. I thought we should probably take Katie home with us, although then she would not have the whole weekend experience. The retreat sight was way out on the edge of town – not easy to get to in good weather. But, she wanted to stay. When it was time for her to come home on Sunday, the city was shutdown. Now, Louisville is a southern town and it sometimes doesn’t take much snow to call a snow day – but, on this Sunday 18 inches of snow– the town shut down. Nothing was moving. For a week it was pretty much closed – snowplows are not an expense the city typically purchases. So, Katie and all the other teens were stuck at the retreat center with dedicated volunteers who were also stuck. Fortunately, there was enough food to hold them over – mostly cereal and pbj. We expected it to be Thursday before we would even have a chance to go pick her up. Fortunately, one of the youth’s fathers had a big 4 – wheel drive jeep and he began to shuttle kids home. Late Tuesday afternoon Katie was home. She had the best time! An Adventure! That was one of those times that I thought I should be careful what I pray for, because it might just happen. Katie’s experience was totally different from her sister’s!
Another snowstorm also occurred on a Saturday night. We woke up to about 8 inches on the ground. But, it was Sunday morning and we were going to go to church. The church we attended was St. Paul’s UMC. We lived about a mile and a half from the church. We got ready for church and arrived right on time despite the roads not being plowed. When we arrived, the Rev. Howard Olds and his wife Sandy were there as well as 2 or 3 people from the praise band, and one or two other people and my family of six. We all sat up front and had a very informal church service. It was wonderful. After church, we bundled up and spent the afternoon playing games, watching old movies, and making it a real Snow Day.
Through the years the possibility of Snow Days has always brought with it a sense of excitement and a legitimate reason to slow down. And, again last evening that sense of possibility was with us, but alas for my grandchildren and my daughter who is a teacher, there is no Snow Day. But, the hope of those days of unexpected rest peak just over the surface of our lives and hopefully remind us that sometimes we have to take a Snow Day whether there is snow or not.